The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) marked World Environment Day on Friday by commencing a tree-plantation drive in Kolkata in a bid to restore the city’s green cover, which was badly affected by cyclone Amphan last month.

The SSB began the drive at its Intelligence Training School located near Ruby Hospital on the EM Bypass by planting 40 saplings. Tapeswar Sambit Raut, who heads the school, said this was not a token gesture on the occasion of World Environment Day but the beginning of a round-the-year campaign to help restore the city’s greenery.

“This plantation drive will help Kolkata in recouping from the loss of several trees due to cyclone Amphan, which had severely destroyed the greenery of the SSB campus that had become the pride of the area for its lush-green landscape,” Mr. Raut said.

“A phase-wise round-the-year plantation programme will be conducted by the SSB in the coming months in association with the Kolkata Police, Kolkata Municipal Corporation, schools and universities and the local population to restore and enhance the environment,” Mr. Raut said.

The planting of saplings, which included 10 varieties of medicinal and fruit plants, was conducted under the supervision of Mr. Raut and SSB Deputy Commandant Ravishankar Kumar.

The guest of honour on the occasion was Jadavpur University’s Prof. Iman Kalyan Lahiri, who, during the prolonged lockdown, had formed a network of current and former students of the university to reach essential supplies to the elderly living alone and to feed dozens of migrant workers each day.

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